Graduate Catalog 2012-2013

Public Administration M.P.A.

Veronica Womack, Coordinator



The Master of Public Administration degree program at Georgia College seeks to enhance the quality of the public service in the Middle Georgia region, in Georgia state government, the federal civil service and in nonprofit organizations world-wide by providing professional education for those involved in or planning careers in the public service. Recognizing that service to the public is a calling of the highest importance, the program is devoted to developing graduates who are effective, efficient, responsible and humane public servants.

In keeping with the Georgia College's liberal arts mission, the program provides students with enriched opportunities to develop critical thinking skills and enlightened leadership skills along with a strong general public administration education. Students are given the flexibility to choose electives that will serve their individual interests and career goals.


The Georgia College MPA program is fully accredited by the Committee on Peer Review and accreditation of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Application Requirements

Prospective students seeking admission to the MPA program must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and show promise of high quality work at the graduate level. There is no specific undergraduate course of study for admission. However, students demonstrating marginal achievement may be advised to take preparatory course work. The deadline for submitting applications for the Fall semester is August 1, the deadline for submitting applications for the Spring semester is November 1 and the deadline for Summer semester is April 1.

All application materials must be filed with the Graduate Admissions Office. These materials consist of the following: (1) the application forms; (2) official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts; (3) official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Applicants need only submit scores from the GRE general test, not from a subject test.

Prospective students seeking additional information on the MPA program may view the handbook on line at

Regular Admission Requirements

To be granted regular admission status, the applicant must score at least 1200 on the MPA admissions formula using the GRE, or at least 670 on the formula using the MAT. The GRE formula is: GRE verbal score + GRE quantitative score + (100 times undergraduate grade point average). For example, an applicant scoring 450 on the verbal portion and 450 on the quantitative portion and having a 3.00 GPA would have an admissions formula score of 450 + 450 + (100 X 3.00) = 1200. The formula using the MAT is: MAT scaled score + (GPA x 100). For example, an MAT score of 370 and a GPA of 3.00 would give the applicant a score of 670.

Provisional Admission Requirements

Applicants who score under 1200 with the GRE or 670 with the MAT on the admissions formula may be granted provisional status, allowing the student to take some courses on a trial basis. If one’s score on the GRE formula is less than 1000 or using the MAT formula is less than 620, the coordinator may require the applicant to re-take the GRE or MAT and/or provide reference letters, or may deny admission. While holding provisional status, students must take the equivalent of a semester’s full load of MPA courses (i.e., 9-12 semester hours) and earn no final course grades below B to qualify for regular status. Provisional students who prefer to take lighter course loads will need two or more semesters of satisfactory work (not to exceed a total of 12 semester hours) to become eligible for regular status. Courses taken under provisional status with satisfactory grades will be counted as part of the regular MPA degree program. Earning a final course grade of less than B while in provisional status will cause the student to be dismissed from the MPA program. All courses taken in provisional status must be approved by the MPA coordinator.

Conditional Admission Requirements

Applicants who apply too late for full consideration for admission and/or have not submitted all required documents for evaluation may be assigned conditional admission status. While in this status a student may register for one semester only by completing a GC Conditional Registration Agreement for Graduate Students; this form requires the signatures of both the student and the graduate coordinator. Any student who registers under this agreement must be admitted to either regular or provisional status by the end of the first semester of enrollment to continue taking courses in the degree program. Earning a final course grade of less than B while in conditional status will cause the student to be ineligible for provisional or regular status in the MPA program. Any course taken in conditional status that will be counted in the MPA program must be approved by the MPA coordinator. Students may take no more than 12 semester hours of course work in conditional and provisional status combined.

Applicants should understand that the MPA program does not encourage students to enter under the conditional status. Students are not eligible for financial aid under the conditional admittance status. The GRE/MAT and undergraduate transcripts are indicators of the ability to do graduate work, and it is helpful to both the MPA coordinator and the applicant to know something of that ability before registering for courses.

Academic Dismissal Policy

It is very important for graduate students to be aware of the need and requirements for good academic standing. Grades of "C" are not satisfactory graduate level grades. A grade of "C" earned in a course when the student has conditional or provisional status will cause that student to be dismissed from the MPA program. Students with regular status must have a grade point average of 3.00 to graduate. Earning a "C" drops one below the 3.00 GPA, unless there is an "A" to compensate for the unsatisfactory grade. Two uncompensated "C's" (or a "D" without two compensating "A's") will cause one to be dismissed. Failing a course will also cause one to be dismissed. The academic policy section should be consulted for more detailed information about the academic grade point average and the academic renewal policy.

Career Information

Most students in the MPA program are already employed in the public sector and are interested in the MPA program for reasons of career development and mobility. In-service students come from practically every possible public sector setting and every level of government. Pre-service students will have available to them the information and assistance of the GC Career Services Office. Faculty will work with students in exploring career options. Many students have found their classmates to be valuable sources of networking information. Students should understand, however, that the purpose of graduate education in public administration is to prepare one to be a better public manager. No graduate degree is a guarantee of employment.

A brief sampling of the positions now held by graduates of the Georgia College MPA program would include: city manager, county manager, director of social service agency, director of a public works agency, budget officer, personnel officer, grants manager, contracts officer, director of a planning agency, management analyst, county sheriff, city police chief, corrections administrator, health care administrator, and higher education administrator. Most MPA graduates work for governmental agencies. A growing number work with not-for-profit agencies that are neither fully public nor private in nature. Some work in private sector settings, especially for companies that have extensive dealings with the public sector.

Program of Study

All MPA students have a 36-hour program, composed of 12 regular courses and a capstone project. Students classified as in-service (i.e., working full-time in public sector-related positions) have a career assessment project as their capstone. Pre-service students (i.e., not having held full-time public sector-related employment) will have an internship as their capstone. Students in either category can choose, with MPA coordinator approval, the thesis option. Those choosing the thesis option will have 30 hours of regular course work and 6 hours of thesis work. The thesis option is designed for those who have strong research interests and who may want to enter doctoral programs after completion of the MPA.

There is a common base of knowledge which students of public administration should master and which is specified by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The particular educational needs and interests of public administration students, however, can vary. The MPA program offers a core — the basic curriculum — that all students should take. There is leeway in the elective areas. Some sequencing of courses may be desirable, but there is no set arrangement of course scheduling to which all students must adhere, with the exception of taking PUAD 6538 in the first term and PUAD 6689 in the final term of enrollment. Every student’s program must be approved by the MPA Coordinator. Consult the MPA Handbook for more details about the curriculum and various options within the program. The Handbook is available on line at

I. Basic Curriculum (12 semester hours)

Required of all students:

PUAD 6538Public Admin & Public Service


PUAD 6558Public Personnel Management


PUAD 6568Admin Law for the Public Mgr


PUAD 6578Public Finance & Budgeting


PUAD 6538: students are strongly encouraged to take this course in their first term of enrollment in the MPA program

II. Advanced Curriculum (9 semester hours)

Required of all students:

PUAD 6601Policy Mking, Implement & Eval


PUAD 6605Quantitative Techniques


PUAD 6605: students considering the thesis option should take this course before beginning the thesis course sequence

Students choose one of the following:

PUAD 6615Administrative Ethics


PUAD 6625Intergovernmental Relations


III. Electives (15 semester hours)

Fifteen hours of elective course work. Students are allowed substantial flexibility in choosing their elective, with the resources of GC’s various graduate programs being generally available. Course in Public Administration, Political Science, Criminal Justice, Logistics, Sociology, Economics, Psychology, Management, and Information Systems may be allowed.

IV. Career Assessment Project or Internship (0 semester hours)

PUAD 6689Career Assessment Project

0 - 1

PUAD 6960Internship and/or Cooperative

0 - 15

PUAD 6689: no credit but required for in-service non-thesis students

PUAD 6960: no credit but required for pre-service non-thesis students

V. Thesis Option (6 elective semester hours)

PUAD 6971Thesis Research and Design


PUAD 6972Thesis Writing and Development


PUAD 6973Thesis Defense


Career Assessment Project. This project is required of all in-service students not taking the thesis option during the final quarter of coursework. Under the supervision of the instructional faculty, each student demonstrates, both orally and in writing, the relationship among course work taken, present job performance, and future career plans. Guidelines are available from the MPA coordinator and are summarized in the MPA Handbook.

Internship. This is an individually structured course involving one semester of full-time supervised work with a public sector agency. The internship is intended for pre-service students who have had little or no exposure to work in the public sector.

Thesis Option. PUAD 6971 is Thesis Research & Design (3 hours); PUAD 6972 is Thesis Writing & Development (3 hours); and PUAD 6973 is Thesis Defense (no credit requirement). Guidelines for the thesis option are available from the MPA coordinator and are summarized in the MPA Handbook. Students selecting the thesis option will have three electives.

Further Information

Prospective students desiring further information may contact the Graduate Coordinator, Department of Government and Sociology, Georgia College, Campus Box 18, Milledgeville, GA 31061. The department’s telephone number is (478) 445-4562. The e-mail address is